Alabama is the home of southern comfort, but it’s also the home of some of the best beauty pageants in the country. If making people look and feel their most glamourous is a passion of yours, work as a makeup artist may be the right career choice for you. Alabama’s beauty schools can train you in basic makeup application, bridal work, even film special effects. There may not be as many colleges as in TX, but they are every bit as professional!

It’s amazing what you can do once you get your makeup artist license. Wherever your love of makeup takes you, it’s sure to start with getting your makeup license in this great state.

alabama city skyline
Alabama Skyline

How Long Is The Training?

To begin work as a makeup artist in Alabama, you’ll need to earn an esthetician license through the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. You need to complete a program of at least 1,000 hours in an approved school. If you’re looking to get work experience sooner, you may choose to study through an apprenticeship program, which can take at least 2,000 hours of supervised practice with a currently licensed salon, certified by the Alabama Board. You will study makeup application, color theory, and skin anatomy. You may also attend programs to specialize in photograph or film makeup artistry, and even special effects!


Since you need to become a licensed esthetician to work as a makeup artist, you will need to take the Alabama Cosmetology License exam. Two exams, one written and one practical, and you will need to pass both with a 70% or higher grade. You will also need to pay a fee. Remember to bring your own kit to the practical exam, along with mannequin head.

Makeup Schools in Alabama

Last Looks Makeup Academy – Huntsville

Winonah School of Cosmetology – 1870 Chace Drive #140, Birmingham 35244

Mitchell Cosmetology College – 116 1st Street S, Alabaster, AL 35007

From Out-Of-State?

If you are looking for a job in Alabama, and are licensed in another state, you will need to check with the Alabama State Board. If you are a fully licensed cosmetologist, barber, or hair stylist in another state, with education requirements as good or better than Alabama, you can apply for a license by reciprocity. If you are certified as a nail technician or makeup artist, you may need to sit a licensing exam, depending on your home state requirements.


You need to renew your cosmetology license every two years during odd numbered years. The deadline is the last day of your birth month. You can renew by completing the application and sending it in, or by sending it in electronically through the Alabama State Board.

Getting Your First Job

There are plenty of working opportunities for an Alabama makeup artist. You may choose a job in the beauty industry, either through a salon or spa, or through the pageant circuit, theatre, or even movies and television. However you choose to find your dream of becoming a top makeup artist, your first step is finding a job through a job site like

Find out more about specialized makeup training for film and theater.

Did we miss any makeup training academies in Alabama? Please contact us to let us know.

Other Alabama schools for nail technicians, estheticians, cosmetologists and barbers.